The signs of anxiety are not always very obvious as this condition takes its time to develop slowly. It is also hard to know when anxiety becomes too much as generally we become anxious whenever a stressful situation is faced. Now, facing a stressful situation is not abnormal and thus, becoming anxious is also normal. This normal anxiety is related to a particular situation and the symptoms go away as soon as the situation is over. When a person is suffering from an anxiety condition that becomes more consistent and frequent, it is no longer a general and normal feeling but is a disorder.
There are some common signs of anxiety. They can be broadly divided into three groups:
Physical signs: panic attacks, increased heartbeat, chest tightening, hot or cold flushes, vigorous breathing, restlessness or the feeling of being tensed and edgy.
Psychological signs: Psychological signs of anxiety include excessive fear, worry, obsessive thinking, and expecting a catastrophe even in the most normal situation.
Behavioral signs: The feeling of excessive anxiety brings change in the behavior of a person like avoiding a situation that may make a person anxious and this can affect the work as well as social life.
The signs of anxiety are pretty different in children and they need to be kept in close watch. The prime form of anxiety that can be noticed in children is the anxiety of being separated. Most of the parents face the trouble while sending the kids to school for the first time. Often parents become disturbed as they cannot find any apparent reason for which the child is afraid of, but looking deep into the child’s mind will enable them to understand the turmoil that the child is going through. If your child shows excessive fear about leaving you and shows the displays the following behavior for more than 4 weeks, it is for sure that the child is suffering from anxiety.
- Extreme distress when they expect or experience separation from you
- Constantly worrying about being lost or separated from you
- Refuse to go out, to school and even to the park
- Refusing to stay alone at home or even in a room
- Worrying about being sick or injured
- Refusing to sleep without you
- Having repeated nightmares about being separated
- Complaining of being sick whenever you are not around
When the mentioned signs are seen, you can be sure that your child is suffering from anxiety and this particular form of anxiety in children is known as separation anxiety. Selective Mutism is another form of anxiety that can be seen in children and the signs are:
- The child refuses to speak in certain situations (especially out of the house or while at school) but in general he or she is too talkative when at home
- Is not able to make friends in school
Post-traumatic Stress is another form of anxiety that a person (even children) can develop when they experience a traumatic situation (death, injury, abuse or torture). The signs of post-traumatic anxiety include:
- Upsetting memories
- Psychologically and physically distressed
- Having negative thoughts all the time
- Feeling cut off from others